Guy Wildenstein will include this painting in his forthcoming Marquet catalogue raisonné being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.
When Henri Matisse vacated his studio on the the left bank of the Seine on the quai Saint-Michel in 1908, his close friend and colleague Albert Marquet gladly took up the lease. It was from the westward facing window of the studio that Marquet went on to paint his sequence of views of the pont Saint-Michel, with the Île de la Cité and the steeply-pitched roof of the Palais de Justice on the right, the Pont Neuf in the middleground and the edifice of the Louvre in the distance. Apart from the present work, other examples from the series can be found in the the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow and the Art Institute of Chicago.
'It was from copying the works of Claude Lorrain, Chardin, and Corot at the Louvre that the young student from the Beaux-Arts developed his taste for contemplation: and it was by his rapid but nevertheless accurate sketches and drawings done on the sidewalks of Paris that Marquet developed his sense of movement... The hustle and bustle of life complemented what he learned from the museums and galleries...This great traveller always returned to the city he loved: to the city where he learned to paint, and where he had made his greatest friends from amongst the "Fauve" artists: and this city was Paris. Right from the start of his career Marquet always lived on the quayside of the Seine, near the Ile St. Louis. It was thus that he produced a series of scenes of the French capital to which he continued to add, right up to the time of his death.
Here are Paris and its bridges freeing themselves through the light of the river; here is the Paris of trees sheltering the booksellers; here are the popular quarters with their fences covered with multi-coloured posters and their decaying houses... He drapes them in the sun of springtime or bathes them in the sad atmosphere of a winter's day, when the snow dribbles down on the quays and a fog, light and damp, hangs over the entire city' (F. Daulte, Albert Marquet, Lausanne, 1988, p. 24).